Click here to read about Stop 1: Providence Canyon.
One time I, being the mature adult that I am, cried for two whole hours on the drive home from North Georgia. I didn't want to leave. It feels like a whole different world up there, and the mountain breeze and serenity of nature sweep me off my feet every single time.
For this trip, we stayed with family on their property, but we've stayed at AirBnb's all over and every single one has been a hit. You simply need to go.
If you’re going to Blue Ridge, there’s no way you can not visit Mercier Orchards. Whether you’re there in apple season, apple blossom season, or somewhere in between, you’re going to consume some amazing apple-related food and drinks.
They have a really yummy breakfast with an all-you-can-eat option (just say yes) and an overwhelmingly good-smelling bakery. The apple cider donuts, as you can expect, are joy encapsulated in a cinnamon-sugar-covered ring of dough. They also have a store with every amazing-sounding canned good and anything-else that you can imagine.
For me, though, the yummiest treat is the apple cider slushy. They have alcoholic versions too, if that’s your style.
Check their website because they have u-picks and various events going on throughout the year; we visited during a time when they were offering free Apple Blossom tours in which we got to ride behind a tractor and behold the most scenic farm I could ever imagine. The rolling hills were just outrageously cute.
Downtown Blue Ridge has a wide variety of shops and a really decent playground, which really matters when traveling with kids.
The great thing about the North Georgia mountains is you don’t need to have a bunch of destinations in mind; just find a nature-saturated place to stay and sit outside. I’m a very impatient and antsy person, but I don’t even know how many hours I must’ve spent rocking on a bench swing and listening to birds chirp while my kids ran around in the grass. I brought books and planned to read them, but I never did---and I don’t regret it---because there was a lot of learning I needed to do just by sitting and beholding.
Also, these flowers. What in the world.
Tips if you go:
-If you’re near Jasper on a Sunday, Mountain City Church in downtown Jasper is a warm and accommodating church family; visiting that church was one of the biggest highlights for me on one of our North Georgia trips.
-There are some really neat restaurants in the nearby small towns; here are my recommendations:
Ball Ground - Burger Bus (you literally sit in a remodeled schoolbus to eat your burger; this picture is from October)
Jasper - Coach’s (extremely yum hoagies with some deliciously greasy fried side items)
Jasper - Dos Margaritas (really gaood Mexican restaurant)
Other people have recommended a ton of other places nearby, so check them out!
This isn’t technically North Georgia, but I have to share this anecdote because it was so humbling. Before we went to Georgia, I knew that my Pappaw really wanted to visit a particular church with a high-profile pastor, and I knew that the church building had an escalator in it. My Pappaw is a godly man with good taste in preaching, but in my pride I was confident that nothing good could come from an escalator-church. I made plans to avoid going to that Saturday night service and almost cried when I found out I’d have to go anyway. “Ugh, the last thing I want to experience is a flashy light show and a broadly-appealing message that barely even touches the Bible,” I thought to myself in super-spiritual disgust.
We took a seat in the enormous auditorium and I was instantly surprised by the simplicity of the stage and the lack of showiness on behalf of the singing ensemble. The lyrics to the songs were solid and gripping, every single one of them. And when this famous high-profile pastor went up to preach, he spoke with so much grace, humility, and Jesus-centeredness that it took me about thirty seconds to realize I had been completely wrong about this place. I honestly don’t know if I’ve heard a sermon packed with so much scripture from so many different angles. It was amazing. I tend to believe that if something is popular, it’s bad, but this pastor was popular just because a lot of people in the area want to learn about the Bible. I learned so much from the escalator church.
So, in conclusion, North Georgia is gorgeous, listening to nature is birds tweet is productive, churches with escalators can be awesome, and pride is always the wrong way to live. Happy adventuring!
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My name is Hope.
I'm 26, married to a former skater dude, and raising little people ages 6, 4, 3, and squishy-baby. I like lime green and sarsaparilla, and I wear my Crocs until they melt. (Florida problems.)
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Articles I've Written on Other Sites:
Youth Ministry's Family Blindspot - Christianity Today